This is the second article in the series on how to use the Norton backup utility to backup files on your computer to either online storage or a local storage device. The previous article covered how to use the software to perform an automatic or scheduled backup to an online location provided by Norton. Though this is the best protection for a system it is not the most cost effective solution for my needs as the online storage does not provide adequate space unless I purchase an upgrade.
I decided to go the cheaper, albeit not as secure or easy, route and purchase a external USB thumb drive to store my data (and test the software). This article will detail how the backup worked using attached storage in place of the online storage.
First, I attached the USB flash drive to my system to make sure that it is working properly and that the system recognizes the device before trying to backup files. After verifying that I am able to see and access the device on my system I was ready to backup my files.
Note: Many flash drives come formatted as the FAT32 file system which is adequate for most users when backing up their system, unless there are any individual files over 4GB which is the maximum file size for FAT32. If this is the case the flash drive needs to be re-formatted for the NTFS file system which handles larger file sizes.
Backup to Flash Drive Procedure
- Started Norton 360 and selected Manage Backup Sets
- In the What tab I selected all of my files to be included in the backup which where all the ones that I could not fit in my online backup. The total size for the backup set was 6GB.
- Next, I selected the Where tab and changed the location to my flash drive.
- I then selected the When tab and changed the option to manual backup for this test.
- Then, I checked the amount of time that the software estimates that it will take to complete the backup but it appears this is only calculated for online backups.
- Finally, I clicked Run Backup to start the backup.
The backup started without any issue and took just about an hour to complete. Total backup size was a little of 6GB and included 5,542 files - yeah, I got a lot of files! Now I have an almost complete backup of my data (did not backup email file for testing) but because it is on a flash drive it is not as protected since it is not off-site like the data included in the online backup. For the best protection the flash drive should be stored in an off-site location such as a bank vault or at the very least a different physical location.
For the next, and final, article in the series I will provide a review of both methods and recommendations on the best protection for your data - stay tuned!